Last week I mentioned that the Padres had invited me to the unveiling of their new brown uniforms on Nov. 9, and I asked if any editors would like to send me to San Diego so I could cover the event for them. I had a few nibbles, but nothing came of them. So today, instead of asking editors, I’m asking all of you: Wanna send me to San Diego?
That’s right — I’m asking you, the Uni Watch comm-uni-ty, if you’d like to cover my expenses so I can cover this unveiling.
I feel a little funny asking for this. But with the journalism industry continuing its death spiral, and with my having lost two jobs already this year (so far!), maybe crowd-funding is the best way to bankroll the next chapter of my career. I’m certainly willing to give it a try for this San Diego event.
So how much cash do I need? Here’s a rough budget:
• Round-trip airfare: $400ish*
• Hotel (two nights): $270**
• Cab to/from JFK: $110
• Local transportation in San Diego: $100
• Meals, incidentals: $100
TOTAL = $980. Let’s round it up to an even $1,000.
*The airfares tend to change daily, so this number is approximate
**I could lower this number by staying only one night, but I want to spend an extra day in San Diego to lay the groundwork for some additional Uni Watch stories. Also, flying coast-to-coast on back-to-back days is exhausting, so I’d prefer to have a buffer day.
So here’s what I’m thinking:
• I want this to be a comm-uni-ty-based project. So for people who want to contribute to my travel fund, I’m setting a hard limit of $50 per person (and it’s fine to contribute less than that). Instead of having one or two sugar daddies shouldering most of the load, I’d rather spread the costs among a larger group of people, which I think will help make this feel more like a shared project that we all have a stake in.
• I have a plus-one for this event. So if I can raise enough cash to make the trip, I will raffle off my plus-one spot, and the raffle winner can join me at the unveiling. Seems like a good way to give back to the comm-uni-ty.
• If the donations fall short of the full amount, I’ll refund everyone’s donations and chalk it up to a failed experiment.
You probably have some questions. Allow me to anticipate some of them:
Are you so broke that you can’t afford a quick trip to San Diego?
No, I’m not broke. But I just lost my SI gig and can’t justify dropping a thousand bucks to write a blog entry. Moreover, journalists can’t be expected to just hop on a plane at their own expense every time there’s a story to cover. I was hoping a magazine or website would hire me for this one (in part so they’d pay my travel expenses and also so they’d pay me for the resulting article), but that didn’t work out, so here we are.
That’s quite a sense of entitlement you have, expecting your readers to pay your freight!
I don’t entirely disagree with this sentiment. Like I said, I feel a bit funny asking. But as I just explained, it’s neither personally nor professionally viable for me to do this on my own, and no publication has stepped up, so I’m asking you folks instead. I agree it’s a bit unorthodox, but I think it’s a worthwhile experiment.
The Padres invited you, so why not see if they’ll pay to fly you out?
Even if they wanted to do that (which I don’t think they do), I can’t accept that kind of freebie from the team whose event I’d be covering, because that would be a blatant conflict of interest. I know, I know — journalistic ethics are so inconvenient!
I can save you some money by letting you crash at my house in San Diego, so you won’t have to stay at a hotel!
I appreciate the offer, truly, but staying at someone’s house becomes a sort of social obligation. I’d have to be “on” all the time, have to make small talk, etc. I’d rather have some privacy, some space to decompress on my own, some time to sit down and work if I need to. Thanks for understanding.
Instead of donating cash, I’d consider donating frequent flier miles or hotel points. Can we do that?
Yes, we can talk about that. Contact me.
Generally speaking, I’m willing to help support the work that you do. But my resources are limited — is this trip really the best use of those resources? What exactly will I be getting if I help send you to San Diego?
Those are totally fair questions. A few thoughts:
• The unveiling is taking place on a Saturday. If I don’t go to cover it in person, Phil will write about it for his Sunday entry that weekend. But if you send me to San Diego, I will take over that Sunday’s lede and present a detailed review of the uniforms, the event, the scene, and so on.
• Honestly, it’s not often that I feel the need to attend an unveiling in person. I can usually do just as good a job (and so can Phil) by watching the live stream, looking at internet photos, and so on. But the Padres going back to brown feels like a big deal. Fans (including many people reading this) have been clamoring for it for ages. I feel like I should be there, and I’d like to think that you’d want me to be there too.
• I don’t think I’ve ever covered an unveiling event in person for the blog. In the past, I’ve always covered such things for ESPN or SI, so I had to do it in a way that made sense for those platforms. But covering an unveiling for the blog will give me the freedom to go into a bit more depth, maybe provide things I haven’t provided before (a video interview with a team official or a player, say), and so on. Basically, if you send me to this event, I’ll do my best to give you your money’s worth.
Of course, if you don’t care about the Padres (or about baseball, or about over-hyped unveiling events), you might not see a good reason to contribute. I can absolutely respect that point of view. I’m just askin’! The choice is ultimately up to you, and I’ll respect the comm-uni-ty’s wishes.
Will the raffle to be your plus-one be limited to people who contribute toward your expenses?
No, it will be open to anyone. For one thing, I can only do “No purchase required” raffles (anything else would be the equivalent of selling raffle tickets, which would mean I’d be promoting gambling, which would get me in trouble!). Also, I like the idea of making the plus-one available to anyone, regardless of financial means. I would prefer that only true Padres fans enter the raffle, because they’re the ones who should be at the unveiling, but of course there’s no way for me to enforce that rule, so the raffle will be open to all.
If you go to San Diego, will you have a Uni Watch party/gathering while you’re there?
If my schedule allows, yes. It would probably be on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 10.
I think that’s everything. So! If you’d like to donate to the Uni Watch San Diego Unveiling Fund, please send your contributions via Venmo (use @Paul-Lukas-2 as the payee), Zelle (firstname.lastname@example.org; please include your email address in the “Memo” field, in case I need to refund your contribution), Cash App (email@example.com), or Apple Pay (email me to get the number). Remember, donations are capped at $50 per person. If we hit the funding target, I’ll post an update here in this paragraph, and I’ll run the plus-one raffle either next week or the week after.
Update: Barely two hours after I posted this morning’s entry, the goal has been already been met! No more donations, please. I’ll buy the plane ticket and book the hotel later today, and I’ll raffle off the plus-one either next week or the week after. THANK YOU for making this such a successful experiment!
(As an aside: While I’m not happy about having lost my job, it continues to look like I may have dodged a bullet leaving SI, at least judging by the latest devastating article about their new owners. What a shitshow.)
ITEM! NBA Preview update: The NBA regular season tips off next Tuesday, which means it’s almost time for my annual NBA Season Preview. I’m happy to announce that it will appear on InsideHook, a men’s lifestyle site much like GQ or Esquire.
I’ve written for this type of publication before, but not in a Uni Watch capacity, so this is a different sort of venue for one of my season previews. As it happens, InsideHook did a nice profile of me back in May, so we were on each other’s radars. After the latest unpleasantness, they got in touch and proposed a partnership, and I’ve been impressed what I’ve seen and heard in our initial interactions. I’m also intrigued by the possibilities, since it could bring Uni Watch to whole new audience.
Anyway: Bottom line is that the NBA Preview will be out on Monday, whoop-whoop!
ITEM! Cycling jersey redux: If you missed out on the Uni Watch Cycling Jersey, which we offered for a two-week window in late August (and which looks mighty sharp on the people who purchased it), you’re in luck — we’re taking another round of orders from now through Nov. 1.
Just like before, you can choose your number and NOB for a custom look. The finished product should be ready to ship in early December — just in time for the holidays.
Again, the cycling jersey is available here. You know what to do.
(My continued thanks to Nathan Haas of Adelph Wear for making this product possible.)
Click to enlarge
“My son, it’s all left up to you”: What have we here? It’s a jacket owned by Seattle-based Uni Watch reader Jason Massman, with our chain-stitched logo on the front and a 20th-anniversary patch on the sleeve. He had them sewn on by a local dry cleaner and then Scotchguarded them himself to protect against the wet Seattle weather.
Even better, the patches are obscuring some corporate logo creep. The chest patch, says Jason, is covering an Amazon logo, while the sleeve patch is covering “a maker’s mark of undetermined origin.” Nice.
If you want to get a chain-stitched patch like the one on the chest of Jason’s jacket, here’s how to order one. As for the anniversary patch, I’ve finally run out of those — sold out!
Press pin registry reminder: In case you missed it on Wednesday, I’ve created a spreadsheet registry for the Uni Watch press pins. The pins were produced in a numbered edition of 200, so the registry allows people to see who got which pin number, and also allows people to trade if they want (so if you’re a fan of a particular number, you can try to trade with the person who has that numbered pin).
For additional details, look here.
(Big thanks to those of you who’ve been entering your info on the registry page, which is filling in nicely).
Being old is hard: My mother and her friend Marcia met while walking to first grade in 1930. They quickly became best friends and remained that way for nearly nine decades. When I was growing up, Marcia and her husband were a big presence in our family’s life — lots of dinners, weekends, etc. I didn’t always enjoy those times (it was hard being the only kid around a bunch of grown-ups, and Marcia and her husband didn’t have a TV, drank skim milk, etc. — like that), but I was always impressed by the special friendship between Mom and Marcia, and how far back it went.
For the past 20 years or so, Marcia has lived in Maine. She and Mom could no longer travel on their own, so in 2014 I drove Mom up to Maine so they could see each other for what we all realized would probably be the last time, although nobody said that out loud. It was a great visit. That’s Mom on the left and Marcia on the right in the photo shown above. They were both 90 years old at the time. In the years since, they’ve continued to talk on the phone at least once a week.
Yesterday Mom got a call from Marcia’s daughter, informing her that Marcia had passed away. It’s a big blow to Mom, who’s lost so many friends over the years. Oddly, it also feels like a blow to me — not because I was particularly close to Marcia myself, but because it feels like an omnipresent element in the culture of our family has been stripped away. R.I.P.
By Anthony Matthew Emerson
Baseball News: The Washington Post’s score bug for last night’s ALCS game featured a very out-of-date Astros logo (from Joel Mendelson). … Also posted in the pro football section: the first renderings of how the Ballpark in Arlington will be reconfigured for XFL football have been released (from James Gilbert). … The CPL’s Savannah Bananas are having a public vote on which of three fan-designed uniforms the team will wear (from Jameson Adams and Kyle Dawson). … The Nashua Silver Knights of the FCBL have unveiled their 10th-season logo (from John Cerone).
Pro Football News: Broncos QB Joe Flacco didn’t have the NFL 100 patch on his jersey during last night’s game against Kansas City (from many, many readers). … Washington has been practicing in helmets with grey facemasks and no stripes, meaning they’ll be wearing throwbacks this weekend (from Stu Ellis, Jr.). … The Ravens have implied that they’ll wear all-white for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks (from Andrew Cosentino). … Also from Andrew: Recently acquired Ravens CB Marcus Peters will wear No. 30. … Cross-posted from the baseball section: The first renderings of how the Ballpark in Arlington will be reconfigured for XFL football have been released (from James Gilbert).
College and High School Football News: Both Duke and Virginia are replacing their regular helmet logos with the CFB150 logo for tomorrow’s game. Duke will also be going BFBS (thanks to Jamie and everyone else who sent this in). … Head coach James Franklin has explained why Penn State doesn’t wear white at home for their “whiteout” games: because the NCAA rules won’t allow it without a typically NCAA bureaucratic process (from William F. Yurasko). … Florida will go orange-white-white tomorrow. … Utah will go red-black-red tomorrow (from Aron LoCoco and @B_Kenny1). … Louisville is going red-red-white this weekend (from M. Brinston Berry). … UNLV is going red-white-black tomorrow. … New Mexico is going grey-white-white at Wyoming. … UNC is going mono-white (from James Gilbert and Andrew Cosentino). … Air Force will be wearing these awesome “C-17” unis tomorrow against Hawaii (from Kade Witten and Chad Lehman). … The following are also all from Chad: Rutgers is wearing their long-sleeved unis this weekend. … West Virginia is going white-white-grey. … White-red-white for Texas Tech. … Boise State is going blue-white-orange against BYU. … Northwestern is wearing their graphite, Gothic-lettered unis tonight. … South Carolina are wearing their throwback unis with standard helmet, so the helmet and pants stripes don’t match (from @willchitty4). … Even the jersey worn by Georgia’s mascot pooch, Uga, has a CFB150 patch (from @BoilerUniforms). … Grand Prairie, Texas, fallen officer AJ Castaneda will be honored by Arlington Martin High’s football team, for which Castaneda played. Arlington Martin will wear special uniforms and coaches will wear corresponding polos on the sidelines. The jerseys will be auctioned off to support Castaneda’s special-needs son’s education (from Chris Mycoskie).
Hockey News: Here’s a nice video of the United Center ice getting painted for the Blackhawks (from Jeff Wilk, who still calls it Chicago Stadium). … The AHL’s Stockton Heat has unveiled their new third sweater (from Jack Wade). … A Devils fan was spotted wearing a post-divorce NOB.
College Hoops News: New unis for Alabama men (from Austin Perry). … New unis for Northern Kentucky men (from Bill Mason). … New court for Washington State (from Brett Craycraft).
Soccer News: EFL Championship side Leeds United have unveiled their centenary shirt, and it’s a beauty (from Ed Żelaski). … The latest episode great design podcast 99 Percent Invisible has a detailed look at how FIFA’s backpass rule changed the face of soccer. … Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium has been illuminated pink for breast cancer awareness (thanks, Jamie). …
Grab Bag: NASA has unveiled the prototypes for the “next generation of spacesuit” (from Billy Theo and Chris Dougherty). … New uniforms for Italian men’s club volleyball team Modena Volley (from Jeremy Brahm).
One last thing: I’m about to start working on my annual Uni Watch Holiday Gift Guide. If you know of a good uni- or logo-themed product or company — or if you produce such a product or run such a company yourself — please let me know. Thanks in advance, and have a great weekend. — Paul
Love Love the idea of a Com-UNI-ty funded trip. I really hope that this works out for you and you are able to make this trip.
Additionally, my condolences on your loss. Best wishes to your mother.
“Washington has been practicing in helmets with grey facemasks and no stripes, ”
They almost look like this horrid Case Keenum mashup when he was traded for:
Sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom’s friend. Weird how that can effect us in ways we didn’t realize. Happened to me too.
Just bring back the spear already!
concur – although at this point they’d be accused of copying the noles
Great Clarence Carter reference! Thank you!
Thank you for getting it (and Getting It™)!
Paul — Just made a contribution to the trip. I’m happy to support your work.
In for $25. If that’s the going rate for a membership card, then consider me a member paying the dues to let Paul do his job! If the San Diego brown is so important that you have to be there to take it in, instead of just watching the live stream…it’s your beat, it’s your instincts, go for it!
Paul, there is no shame in asking. You don’t know if you don’t ask. I lived and worked/volunteered in China for five years being heavily subsidized off the support of overs.
Stuff the Savannah Bananas’ Twitter ballot box.
Can I contribute to the Padres to stop them from wearing brown?
You need a time-out in the penalty box! ;)
” Head coach James Franklin has explained why Penn State doesn’t wear white at home for their “whiteout” games: …..”
Or they could just NOT have whiteout games. Just sayin’.
Thanks for sharing about your mom’s friend Marcia. Sorry for her (and your) loss. I think my 89 year old mother misses her best friend more than she misses my father who she was married to for 60+ years
Crowd-funding update: After one hour, we already have $360 — exactly one-third of the goal. Thank you!
So sorry to hear about your Marica and hope your mom is doing ok.
I remember going to the diner with my Grandfather and his childhood friend and how his demeanor would instantly become just a bit more care free.
Both of those men are gone but appreciate your story for allowing me to reminisce about them for a few minutes.
On a completely separate note….I’m in for $25. Well worth the price to keep great stories coming. A morning cuppa would just not be the same without this site.
Just read the Inside Hook article. “The Dean of Sports Uniforms.” Pretty cool!
RE: NBA preview, given how they have completely botched the whole China situation, I propose that future NBA related content swap out Mr Yuk over the jersey ads and replace it with either face of Xi Jinping or just the flag of China.
Or…Winnie the Pooh!
What happens to the extra money for San Diego funding? Like, what if you find an insanely cheap flight once you get over the threshold? Will the donation window stay open a bit longer once you clinch it? I don’t care if you take a little bit of money and call it payment over and above covering expenses (hey, if some outlet would have paid you for the piece, I’m ok with you making money for this one too)…but if you donate the extra money to a cat shelter, nobody’s gonna get mad at that either.
I will cut off donations once we hit the goal. If there’s any leftover cash, I’ll put it toward the bar tab at the Uni Watch party I convene in San Diego.
Chicago Stadium and the United Center are two different venues…
Came here to say this – The UC has always been the UC; ever since it was built…It was never referred to as “Chicago Stadium.”
While regular readers are familiar with your style of “anticipated questions” regarding announcements, I’d like to think those who regard this site with deference and read your astutely stated thoughts on the subject would not immediately retort, “That’s quite a sense of entitlement you have” or something thoughtless about your financial situation but it is the internet, so I guess I should never be surprised!
After not quite two hours, we’re now at $957. Almost there already!
Looks like this update introduced a coding error. All of the text (all the way thru the comments) is bolded starting with “Additional update”.
Yup, sorry. Fixed! And the goal has now been met! No more donations, please!
Happy to pitch in, Paul! I’ve been a regular reader since your debut on ESPN, so it seems only fair!
Maybe there’s something I’m missing, but the Penn State thing feels like an excuse. If they don’t want to wear white, that’s fine, but saying it’s because of an NCAA rule seems lame to me. LSU wears white for most all of their home games, and traditionally Georgia Tech has as well. LSU is mentioned in the article, but it’s not really explained why it’s so easy for them but too burdensome for Penn State. There’s always the possibility the road team refuses (I know in the past Wake Forest has routinely denied Georgia Tech’s requests to wear white at home), but enough teams wear white at home that I find it hard to believe most teams would deny such a request. Again, I don’t care if they wear white or not, but don’t blame the NCAA. (There are plenty of legit reasons to blame the NCAA, no reason to make up new ones!)
1) LSU wearing white at home is in compliance with an SEC rule (that apparently supercedes the NCAA rule?) that the home team gets to decide what they wear. The other teams that do it in other conferences I can’t give you an answer for
2) I at least like that Franklin first mentioned the contrast defense before the NCAA rule, that if the team is in blue against a backdrop of white, it’s easier for players to see each other. I’m not sure if this actually holds up (I’d think the green field/blue walls/railings/players on the sideline wearing the same jersey would be the bigger issue), but I’d like to think it holds up better than citing a rule no one else seems to have trouble circumventing.
3) PSU should never wear white at home even if people think they should for Whiteouts. Franklin should’ve just answered it as a non-starter. “We don’t wear white for Whiteouts because we wear blue jerseys at home and white jerseys away from home and that’s that.” Would’ve been a lot more satisfying of an answer haha
I’ve never been prouder of our UNIverse that when I received the Venmo alert from Paul. Nice Work, Y’all!
I had to read that whole thing and look around for my Venmo info only to scroll down and find out it was already funded!!
I wonder how much funding you would have received to cover the Diamondbacks going back to purple….
I think it’s good that you read the whole thing, just to get a sense of the thinking behind it. Thanks for wanting to contribute, even if it wasn’t needed this time around. I’m sure there will be other opportunities!
Takeaway from today: Paul doesn’t want sugar daddies in his life.
I look forward to sponsoring your work in the future. You’re an excellent journalist. I’m kinda sad I didn’t get a chance to contribute, but I feel good about the world that other people recognize talent when they see it.
Congratulations on the gig! Have fun in SD, I hear it’s nice this time of year, similar to the other times of the year in SD.
I’m sure you will have other opportunities to help out! (And thanks for the appropriate use of “sponsor”!)
Congratulations on reaching your goal. Even though I am not currently in a position to have contributed, I had a good feeling your goal was to be met.
My mom is in a very similar position as yours. She’s nearly 80 and lives alone in the only home I’ve ever known (46 years this Christmas). Most of the friends she has made through church, work, volunteering, etc., are dying off and some of them have been as profound a loss for me as for her for various reasons (they had kids of a similar age, etc). I’m thankful she has many still left and I hope your mom does as well.
Wow – Big shout out and kudos to the Uni Watch community in reaching the funding goal so quick!
Have fun in San Diego, Paul. This uniform unveiling for the Padres with the return to brown is one I have been waiting to see for a long time and will enjoy reading it.
You’ve already met your goal and it looks like you have your trip planned, but I’m sorry you won’t be in SoCal long enough to have a Uni Watch party. I would’ve tried to come down to San Diego for that, or would’ve encouraged you to hold it somewhere in Orange County so it’s half way between LA and SD.
But what an amazing response from the people in this comm-uni-ty.
You’ve already met your goal and it looks like you have your trip planned, but I’m sorry you won’t be in SoCal long enough to have a Uni Watch party.
Judy, it says right there in today’s text that I will try to have a party on Nov. 10!
Congrats on reaching the goal! I didn’t find out about it until after the fact, since it’s an extremely rare weekday that I can check Uni Watch this early anymore, otherwise, I might’ve chipped in a little something. Hope you have a good time!
As for that fan’s Devils jersey… it’s always a risk to get your own personalized jersey, but picking a Hall-of-Famer’s number like Scott Niedermayer’s… no, just no.
With a number like 27 and a “MRS.” NOB, it might have been their wedding date. A friend of mine was the guy who got married at the Linc this summer and the Eagles gave him and his wife “BRIDE” and “GROOM” jerseys numbered 6 and 25 for their wedding date. That said, novelty names or your own name on someone else’s number never looks right, setting aside Paul’s philosophy that wearing someone else’s jersey doesn’t look right to begin with.
Congrats on getting funded. I normally am one of the first to check in at 8, but I was on call last night and the morning actually went downhill from there, so I am dragging today.
Ravens CB Marcus Peters has already switched numbers. He’s taking 24 from Brandon Carr and Carr is taking the previously unassigned 39.
Glad the crowd fund trip is a go! I logged in too late to contribute, but was well prepared to do so. I think that means another such crowd fund trip can be considered in the future, because I would like to contribute as well sometime.
I’m a little late commenting but could this trip be considered a business expense for the site and refunded when you file your taxes? I’m not self employed so I don’t fully understand how business expenses and taxes work for self-employed individuals but someone with better knowledge may be able to correct me or add more information.
In what universe (or uni-verse) do you think business expenses are “refunded” on one’s taxes?!
They can be used to lower your taxable income, but I assure you they are not refunded!
I think I’d just mixed equated “write-offs” with refund in my head. Always learning something new! Glad you’ll be able to lower your taxable income though so that should help a bit.
Touching story about your mom and Marcia…
On a lighter note, I am a Pads fan from day one and am ecstatic about the return to brown!! I was not able to contribute but glad you’ll be going anyway, thanks to those who made it happen!
BRING BACK THE BROWN!
By the time we West Coasters got out of bed today, it was too late to pitch in for the trip! I’ll have to find another way to pitch in at some later point.
Would love to show you around San Diego a little if you have time during the visit. I have to head down there for some family business soon anyway, and I will definitely enter the raffle.
I’ve heard from a lot of west coasters today — including several from San Diego — who said the same thing, Richard! Obviously, I had no idea we’d meet the funding goal so quickly. A nice surprise!!
WOW! I don’t usually get to enjoy my time on Uni Watch until the afternoon (early evening today) and I was already sold on donating to Paul’s trip. I can’t believe it was already covered within two hours!! Actually, I can believe it because this community is awesome.
Well Paul, next time you need donations…I’ll try to get here sooner! In the meantime, I’ll look at ordering a shirt!
So are we gonna have a Padres brown redesign contest before the unveiling?!
I’m reading about a very eventful Friday early on Saturday. Congrats to Paul and the Uni-Watch family for making the trip to San Diego a reality. Also, condolences to Mrs. Lukas on Marcia’s passing. Sad news.